*especially if you’re an introvert or highly sensitive person (HSP)
For many, many years my sense of happiness and self-esteem has been a mystery to me, one which I haven't quite been able to put my finger on.
I read and I read and I read some more, trying to figure out *the answer*, and get myself out of a rut when I've felt low. But nothing seemed to work. Life got in the way, I got distracted, I carried on, but something just wasn't right.
I was then forced into action after I found myself in a particularly low period when my Masters came to an end in addition to a business which burned me out before it had even gotten off the ground. Exhausted and unsure of myself, it felt like I was back at square one in terms of what my career would look like. Aka I was back at WTF do I do with my life?!
I've gone through some tough times since my late teens, including a couple of stints at university, a couple of depressive slumps, and the rest. As I write this today, I feel calm and content and pretty grounded (I lie: I was up late last night watching "Making of a Murderer" on Netflix in bed last night and feeling a tad groggy - I need my sleep!). I'm in a working setup which is much better for me and both movement and stillness have become fundamental parts of my life.
I wasn't surprised to realise that there is no holy grail when it comes to happiness. No answer to life, the universe and everything (unless you're a Hitchhiker's fan, in which case the answer is 42).
BUT, there is a very simple formula for making sure I remain balanced and level-headed and all those nice things which give me a foundation for my happiness. And I reckon that every introvert and highly sensitive person (HSP) would benefit from making the following pretty high on their list of priorities, if not right at the top.
Here it is...
A nourished body and mind.
There. Surprised? Unimpressed? It might sound a bit underwhelming, obvious even, but let's dig into this a little more.
You see, us introverts and HSPs are a curious breed. As thinkers and feelers, our minds and bodies are more susceptible to overwhelm and general bleurgh-ness compared to the average person.
And that's why we need to go above and beyond in order to ensure both mind and body are well looked after.
And there's some pretty simple yet significant ways of doing that. Ranging from incorporating movement and stillness in your life, just like I have, through to keeping the basics tended to - nutrition, water, sleep.
Yes, there are other things which play a part - such as feeling like we have some sort of purpose in life, that we are in control over our own destiny, but it's a well-kept mind and body which makes all that other stuff even possible. Because if we feel frazzled or irritable in any way, we can be feeling as purposeful as ever but it won't make much of a difference if our minds and bodies don't feel good in the first place.
So make this your focus, dear introverts and HSPs. Your mind and body are you, your soul, your being. It's of no surprise that the key to your bliss is looking after the both of them.
Oh, and they're both inter-connected you know, but that's for another post...